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Turkey bans Israeli military flight from its airspace as freeze deepens

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Ian Black
London Guardian
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Turkey has banned an Israeli military flight from its airspace in apparent retaliation for Israel’s interception of the Free Gaza flotilla last month, in which nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed.

Officials in Ankara confirmed today that Israeli military aircraft would be permitted to enter Turkish airspace only on a “case by case” basis. There was no suggestion that civilian flights would be affected.

Israeli media reported that Turkey had not allowed a plane transporting military personnel to a tour of Holocaust memorial sites in Poland to cross its airspace. The aircraft, with more than 100 people on board, was forced to make a detour. Israel has not commented on the issue.

The move represents a further escalation of the crisis between the countries. Secular but Muslim Turkey, a Nato member, was Israel’s most significant Middle Eastern ally, but the relationship has been battered by Israel’s recent wars against Hezbollah and Hamas and by an eastward shift in Turkish foreign policy.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 3:06 am

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